Ontario Extends Ban on Outdoor Recreation

Ontario Extends Ban on Outdoor Recreation Doug Ford, is keeping outdoor recreational activities like golf courses shut down for another two weeks. Even though health officials and mayors are saying they’re important for physical and mental health, Ford’s sticking to his “stay-at-home” order until at least June 2.

What’s Closed and What’s Open

Right now, retail stores are doing curbside pickup, and the roads are still bustling. But restaurants, including outdoor patios, are closed, along with in-person schooling and gyms. Most folks who don’t have essential jobs are working from home because of the third wave of COVID-19 infections, which are being fueled by new variants.

Pushback from Health Officials

The Ontario Medical Association has been pushing for outdoor recreational facilities to reopen. They’re saying places like golf courses, tennis courts, and basketball courts are good for physical and mental health. Even Golf Ontario started a campaign called “LetUsPlay,” but so far, no dice.

Ford’s Concerns

Ford’s worried about people getting together after hitting the links. He’s saying it’s not the golf itself that’s the problem, but all the socializing that comes with it afterward. You know, grabbing a few drinks and hanging out. He thinks that’s where the real risk is.

Experts Disagree

But some health experts aren’t buying it. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease scientist at the University of Toronto, thinks limiting outdoor activities is a mistake. He’s saying things like golfing are safe and should be encouraged.

Frustration from Golf Associations

Golf Ontario and We Are Golf, two big golf associations, are pretty annoyed with the decision. They’re saying golf is totally safe, and they’re not happy that Ontario is the only place in North America where you can’t hit the links.

Past Backlash

This isn’t the first time Ford’s been under fire for his COVID-19 restrictions. Last month, people got pretty upset when he closed playgrounds and gave police the power to stop folks who weren’t at home and ask them why they were out.

Vaccination Progress

On the bright side, vaccinations are picking up speed in Canada. In Toronto, at least half of eligible adults have gotten their first dose, and the province is hoping to hit 65% by the end of the month. Ford’s saying the infection numbers are starting to go down, but he’s still being cautious.

Looking to the Future

Ford’s got his eye on the prize – he’s hoping for a relatively normal summer. He’s saying they can’t rush things and risk another spike in cases like before.

Learning from Past Mistakes

Ford tried to reopen things too quickly before, and it didn’t go so well. Cases shot up, and he had to backtrack pretty fast. This time, he’s taking it slow and steady, even if it’s frustrating for some folks who just want to hit the golf course or grab a bite to eat on a patio.